The Olympic, Chinese & Beijing 2022 flags fly in Zhangjiakou as seen in March. (ATR)
The IOC and Beijing 2022 are meeting in the Chinese capital for the first time since Beijing won the right to host the Winter Games three months ago.
The 12-member IOC delegation is led by Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi and includes International Paralympics Committee CEO Xavier Gonzales.
The IOC contingent is scheduled to meet with Chinese Olympic Committee president Liu Peng, Beijing mayor Wang Anshun and Hebei Province governor Zhang Qingwei during the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings.
Approximately 300 representatives from China’s General Administration of Sport, the Chinese Olympic Committee, China's winter sports associations, and officials from the Beijing Municipal and Hebei Provincial governments are participating in the seminar.
The purpose of the seminar is primarily for the two sides to evaluate the initial preparatory work that Beijing 2022 has carried out since earning the right to host the 2022 Winter Games on July 31.
One of the major issues confronting organizers is the lack of natural snow received annually at the two snow sports clusters, facilitating the need to produce artificial snow and the reliance on vast water resources.
At the recent International Ski Federation (FIS) season opening races in Austria, Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn and many of the world’s top skiers expressed concern about China hosting major Alpine skiing races at untested venues.
Christophe Dubi in Beijing during the Co-Comm inspection in March. (ATR)
At the seminar, the Beijing 2022 group is also expected to convey its Games philosophy and vision, the effect the Games could have on the regional economy in northern China and how they might help the development of winter sports across the nation.
According to the host city contract, Beijing has to establish the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee by next month.
High-Speed Rail Project Estimated at $12.9 Billion
A 174-kilometer high-speed railway linking Beijing with the future Olympic venue cluster in Zhangjiakou will cost an estimated or $12.9 billion. Approval and cost of the project came from Beijing local government on Monday
The site of the proposed medal plaza in Zhangjiakou. (ATR)
Costs associated with the high-speed train have been kept a closely-guarded secret until now and are not factored into the Beijing 2022 budget as the project falls under China’s National Railway Development program.
While official confirmation to move forward with plans was just granted, journalists were told by organizers that construction of the railway began five months prior to the IOC host city vote in August.
Construction is expected to take place over a four-and-a-half year period with the train capable of transporting 60 million people annually, according to the Zhangjiakou Development and Reform Commission.
The railway will also makes stops in Yanqing county, approximately 80 kilometers north of Beijing, the proposed site for the Alpine skiing and bobsleigh/luge venues.
Reported by Brian Pinelli.
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